Walking, the most popular exercise activity in America, is especially popular with women. It isn't surprising that moms of all ages enjoy walking. I've been active in walking for over 15 years and have observed many a mom on the trail. Let's go through the life of the walking mother.
Maintaining regular exercise throughout pregnancy is good for the health of mother and baby. If the mother-to-be has not been exercising regularly before pregnancy, start gently with the Absolute Beginner's Walking Plan.
For mothers-to-be who have been regular exercisers, walking can be a safer activity than those that involve bouncing. Moderation is the word during pregnancy, don't push yourself to the extreme. The chemical byproducts and raised body temperature of overexertion are bad for the fetus.
Monitor Your Pulse: Your pulse rate should not be above 140 beats per minute at any time during your walk. You may also use the "talk test" -- you should be able to speak in complete sentences without having to huff and puff and gasp out only short phrases. A pulse more than 100 beats per minute five minutes after a workout means you have worked your body too hard.
Drink and Stay Cool: Drink water before, during, and after your walk to help regulate your core body temperature. The fetus cannot get rid of excessive heat, so avoid exercising in hot weather and keep your walking workout moderate. Consider mall walking as an alternative during hot weather.